A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this action game features lots of gunplay, sci-fi weaponry, and some sword fighting. Players blast humans, monsters, and robots, although there's no blood. Some cut scenes have intense (but gore-less) violence, like point-blank shootings or an implied beheading. A few scenes include smoking, some talk of drinking, and a lot of strong -- but scantily clad -- heroines.
What's it about?
Vincent Valentine, a minor character from Final Fantasy VII, is recruited in FINAL FANTASY VII: DIRGE OF CERBERUS to help the World Regeneration Organization in its war against the mysterious and aggressive Deep Ground soldiers.
As players push Vincent through this war, they learn about his painful past and inner demons. In fact, Vincent can briefly change into a powerful demon to thrash enemies, but he spends most of the game blasting soldiers with pistols, rifles, and machine guns. Players can customize Vincent's guns, buying upgrades and mixing and matching dozens of parts to modify the weapons. The Cerberus of the title is a three-barreled gun (inspired by the mythological three-headed dog).
Is it any good?
Final Fantasy VII, from 1997, is one of the most beloved games in the long-running Final Fantasy series. But only die-hard fans will love this spin-off, a repetitive shooter with too much storytelling. Players guide Vincent through tightly controlled, linear environments, gunning down generic enemy soldiers over and over. The differences between gun components are frequently hard to detect, and players can ignore options like Vincent's hand-to-hand combat and magic abilities and still cruise through missions.
What's more, the action and story elements are awkwardly integrated. A typical mission is book-ended by about 10 minutes of cut scenes, and the action is repeatedly interrupted by storytelling segments (and short loading times). The game's strengths come from the cinematic beauty of many of the cut scenes and the excellent music, which help bring this intriguing world to life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about game sequels and games that are part of a series. Are you more interested in a game if you like the characters from other games? Can you think of another game you'd like to see made into a series? Movie sequels never seem to be as good as the original; is the same true for games?
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.